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Author Topic: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit  (Read 35813 times)

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Offline Scooter72

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Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« on: April 29, 2011, 05:24:53 AM »
Today was my first day at the clinic. There is not going to be much for this entry, because not much was done today.  And as I have stated in another thread, I am not going to comment much on the disposition of the staff; on a given day, any nurse or tech (or whomever) can be having a bad day. The negative is usually what sticks out in peoples' minds, and on a message board it is inappropriate to judge.  I do research in at an institution that is directly tied to a hospital, and thus have observed what such staff may go through on a given day.  It can be grueling.  However, I think that the bedside manner of the doctors IS up for discussion, since they are the ones who do the treatment, and are responsible for educating and comforting the patient while getting results.  This is doubly true when it involves an expensive out-of-pocket procedure that is in its infancy (at least here in the states).

With that said, I must say that Dr. Hanson was great today.  My first appointment was with him, since Dr Schultz is at a conference.  He sat down with me, answered any and all questions I had concerning exactly what is wrong with my knee, while looking at the MRI.  I asked some gentle probing questions involving the basics of what is "going on" with respect to the effects of this procedure.  He wasn't taken aback at all, and provided good answers.  I was very satisfied.  Dr. Hanson strikes me as genuinely concerned with getting good results for his patients.

Another great aspect of the clinic; they have an associated lab, with techs and PhDs working there with whom Drs Centeno, Schultz and Hanson are in constant correspondence. Dr. Hanson also mentioned that the three doctors are continuously using each other as sounding boards.  This is a fantastic model for translational research!  Everything is fit nice and snug with open lines of communciation, and a nice environment in which to do studies.   

From what I understand, I have a degenerative ACL (which is still stable upon physical testing), a lesion in the trochlear groove, a kissing lesion under the cap, and a degenerative patellar tendon.  It's a "wear&tear" issue by his best guess.  Since my ACL is stable, he believes that the ACL will not have to be directly injected, rather the injection itself will help take care of all the aforementioned structures.  However, this will be up to Dr. Schultz, who will be doing the bone marrow draw and injection into the knee.

But first I have to have a pre-injection, to be done tomorrow, of lysed platelets (if I remember correctly).  My knee is going to be sore as heck, no doubt.  To enable that procedure, I had a five vials of blood drawn today.  No big deal.  I just drank a lot and ate a bunch after getting back to my hotel.

After the pre-injection, I will wait for 3 days.  My knee will be nice and inflamed.  On Monday I will have another blood draw, and on Tuesday, the marrow draw and subsequent injection into the knee will take place.  Dr. Schultz will perform these procedures.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 05:28:36 AM by Scooter72 »

Offline Scooter72

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 11:04:44 PM »
I had my second of four visits to the clinic today. I arrived promptly in the morning, was taken back and the usual vitals were taken (e.g. blood pressure and temperature).

The procedure to be done, was the platelet lysate "pre-injection" into the knee.  Dr. Hanson did this, as I mentioned above, Dr. Schultz is away at a conference.  I was taken and prepped at the x-ray room after vitals were taken.  I won't bore you with the usuals, but as you can imagine the knee was prepped, a gel applied, and Dr. Hanson "looked" inside it via ultrasound.  The ultrasound confirmed what he had mentioned yesterday, which is that while my ACL is deriorated, it would not have to be directly injected. Great, since that is apparently painful.

I want to mention something.. I hate needles. To give you an idea how much I hate them, I will tell that I once had a nasal septum surgery.  THAT is a painful surgery from which to recover, and refuse all pain medications or injections.  I was in serious pain in recovery.  The nurse wanted to inject me with a pain med.. he wanted to inject me with a looooong needle straight into my (gluteus.. if I remember right) muscle.  Well.. I held out for a good hour of agony, before caving in. I think most people would have been begging for it immediately.

So back to this morning.. Dr. Hanson takes the needle, and as he is about to inject in my knee, I say, "Dr. Hanson, I am going to ask you a question that you've heard many times in many iterations: will this hurt a lot?"  He paused for a second, shook his head with a smile and said, "umm well, yes.  It is a needle, and you will feel a sting and a lot of pressure."  I clenched my teeth, grabbed the edges of the table/bed and...

nothing.  It was nothing.  Yes, I felt a sting and yes, there was some pain with a lot of pressure after the full volume was injected.  But the anticipation was far worse than the reality.  Right now, I cannot (or maybe am too cautious to) bend my knee to 90 degrees, since the injection still has not dissipated.  It is a good 8 hours after the injection as off this writing.  Still no pain, just a feeling of pressure. 

Also, the "brace guy" came by after my injection and fitted me for my brace.  He does the braces for all the clients at the clinic.  He is a nice guy who gave me good advice on how/when to wear the brace.  He is a part of their team, and it shows.

that's all for today.  Have a good weekend everyone!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 11:06:53 PM by Scooter72 »

Offline dg

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2011, 03:17:51 AM »
I had my first treatment there over a month ago. I think the staff was mostly like you'd find in any medical office in America. The doctors, however, were most impressive with their knowledge and skilll, and generous with their time.

When you fly out to a place like that, that you've researched and thought a lot about for a while, you make it into a big deal. However, for the people working there, it is just another day, and not special in the way it is for you. So when you're confronted with the mundane it's kind of a let down in a way. Talking with the docs though you can get a sense of excitment about what is going on there.

For me the injection into my ACL was pretty painless as was the bone marrow draw. I've had injections into my knee nefore so I knew it would hurt, but I have to say that was one of the more painful things I've experienced. I had to get help in the aiport to get around. It took about a month for most of the pain to go away. Granted that is just me and my circumstance. Pain comes and goes and little things can set it off for me and it takes a while for flare ups to subside.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 03:19:51 AM by dg »

Offline Scooter72

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 03:25:18 AM »
DG, you're not helping me out with that part about the knee injection! Lol.. I am not looking forward to that.  But nevertheless, maybe it won't be so bad. 

Regardless, I will clamp down and accept that the pain might be nasty for the stem cell injection. 

Would you mind telling me which doctor did your injection?

Offline crumpet

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2011, 05:13:28 AM »
Hey Scooter:

How ya doing.... What explanation did they give you for the brace?

~Crumpet
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Offline dg

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2011, 01:09:20 PM »
Centeno is my doc there. The thing with pain is that you will forget about it afterwards. Somebody said to me this is why women can have babies again. At least the procedure is relatively quick. I just remind myself it beats all the alternatives.

Offline Scooter72

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2011, 11:38:41 PM »
Crumpet, the brace is to keep my patella in place, in my opinion, so that it doesn't track over the site with the huge lesion.  I just got the patellar brace, which is arounnd $160.  Thank goodness.  It could have been the unloader brace, which runs around $2000.  That would surely have taken out my deductable.

Dg, I am with you man.  If this helps me avoid an ACI, or similar procedure that puts me out for months or over a year?  It's all worth it.

As an aside, I am having a blast going out and about.  This area is beautiful, with lots to do. 


Offline crumpet

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2011, 08:31:48 PM »
Hey Scooter:

You must have returned home by now...with some good info for us.

....Unless of course they carted your carcass off after discovering you were such an extraordinarily great source of stem cells....

~Crumpet
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Offline Scooter72

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2011, 03:00:08 PM »
I will certainly update this weekend.  Yesterday I got home; I was so tired.  And now I have a lot of catching-up to do, and the restrictions implied by my procedure are making accomplishing daily tasks a bit more difficult (as I figure out how to get around them).

Overall, I'd say it was a good experience, but of course, I feel there are ways in which the clinic can improve its service to the patient.  I will definitely have some good advice for those  who decide to go through with the procedure.  Talk later.

Offline dg

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 03:52:58 PM »
My impression is that even with 3 doctors they are extraordinarily busy. They are also pre-occupied with setting up or licensing several other clinics overseas. Plus there are the legal matters they are dealing with the FDA about. The demand for what they are doing is quite high. It seems like a growing busines and there is a lot focused on growing it more. How does that relate to the service an individual patient gets? I think part of it is that we are paying out of pocket so we expect customer service that goes above and beyond. When insurance pays you just don't have the same expectations. I think that is natural.

Part of it also may just be the indivual attitudes of the doctors. Just about the most arrogant, awful people I've ever had to deal with have always been surgeons. Fortunately, the docs here are not like that, but they are still doctors, which means by nature they can be somewhat detached and aloof. I'd also say that in some part of the country people are naturally more friendly, and in other places less so. Overall the experience is mostly like that of going to any very busy doctors office in this country. Any doc who sees many patients in a day is going to have their attention stressed. The best thing is for the patient to be well prepared with questions and make sure they are constantly asking what is going on and making sure questions get answered and everything a doc mentioned earlier gets follow-through. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 04:05:47 PM by dg »

Offline crumpet

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 05:04:57 PM »
No rush Scooter...  Just glad to hear you made it home okay:)

AND...DG, I'm super-glad you've been willing to be so authentic in your comments.  Its got to be hard to form a relationship, and then be totally honest about your experiences, regardless of how they turned out.

I think you've made some powerful and insightful points there in your post.

I know I have lots of questions...

Thanks....you guys.:)
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Offline dg

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2011, 05:55:23 PM »
Part of the trepidation is of course that this procedure is somewhat of an unknown to most of us. It's a new experience and there is a bit of disbelief. It's a leap of faith. This kind of heightens your sensativity and lowers your tolerance a bit. If it works, it takes time. There is not instant relief and so aftwards you're constantly second guessing yourself. And you have 6 weeks in between visits!

I was reassured that last time I was there that another patient in the waiting room was exclaiming how her back pain of long had been cured and she was excited to be coming back to get her neck done. It's one thng to read testimonials, but another to see somebody in person to make it real.

I guess once you know it's working you're more likely to sweat the small things.

I've had prolotherapy on other parts of my body and went through similar feelings as the treatment progressed. In the end it actually worked, but it did take time. It seems to me in this country people are so impatient for instance relief or gradification that they would almost rather have a surgery despite all of the risks and downsides as opposed to something like this which can take longer. Anyway, I've had complications from various surgeries and those problems will probably have persited longer in the end than they entire course of this treatment.

Offline crumpet

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 09:36:01 PM »
DG:

You had your ACL injected...????  Hmmmnnn. 

Can you upack that for us?  I'd really love to know all about that, everything from how it got injured to....how many stem Centeno put in it, (if that's what you had done of course).

I wonder how it compares to what Scooter had done.

~Crumpet
acl issue

Offline dg

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2011, 12:11:46 AM »
For me, the ACL issue is just laxity from wear and tear. It's possible I might have damaged it many years ago sledding. Hard to say. They have used prolo (dextrose) and stem cells on it. If it gets better it should be easy to tell since my knee won't feel so loose. Once the ACL is loose, the instability can have a negative cascading affects on other parts of the knee's anatomy. It's a complex joint! I haven't found those injections to be as painful as other areas in the knee.

Offline crumpet

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Re: Centeno-Schultz clinic visit
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2011, 12:52:56 AM »
Thanks so much DG...

I'm VERY interested in this topic.

I have a set of very loose ACLs (one is far worse than the other), and have been thinking about stem cells for them...but without proof that stem cells can shrink the ACL, I've been reluctant. This trepidation comes after having had many rounds of expensive, not to mention painful, prp and prolotherpy injections into both ligaments with little improvement.

How many stem cells did they put in your ACL...and do you think its getting tighter yet?  Could you detect the looseness in the joint yourself before? Would you say it felt unstable at all...or did the joint jiggle around when you walked?  ::)

Did you get two rounds done with Centeno? Are they using the Regenexx SD or the AD on you?

~Crumpet

 

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